Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 13, No. 17. August 3, 1950
The Joynt Scroll is . . . — Goin' Back to Whur it came from
The Joynt Scroll is . . .
Goin' Back to Whur it came from
Congratulations to Massey College on their Joynt Scroll win, and our sincere thanks, particularly to Tom Bell, Ivo Dean and Peter Roberts, for their hospitality. Congratulations also to Bledisloe Medallist, Kevin O'Sullivan and to the best debater, "Ike." Patterson. The standard throughout was excellent and Vic speakers were not at all disgraced. Not since 1943 have we won the Scroll but, after these seven fallow years, let us hope that the future will see a truer Victoria ranking in N.Z.U. debate.
"That nationalisation of the land is in the best interests of New Zealand" was affirmed by Rod Smith and Mike Brittain (AUC) against Kevin O'Connor and Ian Inkster (Massey). Rod Smith's dramatic, deliberate style gripped an audience unsympathetic to his argument. The Auckland team's ingenious interpretation of land nationalisation as Crown ownership with leasehold tenure was mildly disputed by Kevin O'Connor; nonetheless, he met his opponents adequately on their own ground with well-developed argument and sincere conviction. Unlike his leader, Ian Inkster did not dispute the issue according to the Auckland team's interpretation of the subject.
Jim Milbum and Maurice O'Brien debated for Victoria against Ike Patterson and Rodney Grater (OU): "That World Government is a practicable and desirable goal." Opening tor Victoria, Jim delivered a lively speech, nicely phrased. However, he did not appear to come really to grips with the issue and propose a solid comprehensive affirmative case, nor did he thrust home his arguments to the hilt as did his second speaker. Several times, Maurice neatly attacked the negative case and from the wreck developed a constructive argument for the affirmative. His vigorous delivery of concise argument provoked interjection which he turned to advantage. Taken by itself this was a first-class debating speech—the best the writer has heard Maurice—but perhaps it was not the type of speech needed to complement his leader's treatment of the subject.
Whatever dearth of solid argument there was in Jim Milburn's opening speech was redeemed by effective wrecking of opposing arguments and a trite summary of the affirmative case in his reply.
An impressive voice and fine phrasing were employed by Ike Patterson, leader of the Otago team, to display his skilful and shrewd debating technique.
While the standard was very high throughout, there was a fairly wide margin of points between individual speakers and it was surprising not to find Victoria's representatives placed respectively higher in the individual rating of contestants.
J. T. Mutch.
Ake, Ake, Auc!
Kevin O'Sullivan is the first Aucklander to win the Bledisloe Medal since Kenneth Melvin in 1932. His speech on Orakau was truly great oratory. It has been under preparation for two years. Therein lies a lesson for Victoria's many competent speakers who frequently fail through inadequate preparation. Describing Orakau as "New Zealand's Gettysburg." he later compared it with Britain's "finest hour" and moved his audience to endorse the words of his peroration: "For though we are not flesh of their flesh, let us as inheritors of their lands, become spirit of their spirit."
Second equal were the student newspapermen, "Ike" Patterson (OU) and Kevin O'Connor (Massey). Patterson's sound legal opinion on the Treaty of Waitangi may not have been broadminded enough to be good oratory. Factors other than the strictly legal were ignored but only a speaker of his ability could have won an audience in a speech which included a dissertation on two constitutional cases.
Kevin O'Connor soon converted his listeners to admiration of the founder of the Corriedale, James Little, who "earned undying dignity by keeping close to this cold planet, Earth." In part really poetic, this speech deserved a slightly better fate.
Speaking third, Jim Milbum made the first attempt at classical oratory and must have gone close to a place with his oration on Sir Julius Vogel. This speech contained many of the hallmarks of great oratory, but probably lost its effectiveness through a change in the speaker's style. Over-careful pausation led some to believe him insincere. Nevertheless, Vogel was depicted as a life-like figure.
Sir George Grey received a balanced treatment from Alec Williams, whose delivery, however, was not impressive, possibly because he spoke after the ultimate winner. The tiring audience appeared to know Grey well enough for them to be moved by this accurate account of his life and character.
Of the others, Lincoln's Lindsay Smith, in his speech on Waitaki's Hugh Milner, was the most promising orator.
—M. J. O'Brien.